Montego Bay, June 4, 2019 – Jamaica – Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Ministry of Health and Wellness is being lobbied to establish protocol in the nation’s hospitals, to ensure that police officers who are injured on duty are given priority attention.
The Minister was addressing the Jamaica Police Federation’s 76th Annual Joint Central Conference, which was held at Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, on May 29.
“There is a need to ensure that healthcare for police officers is in a well-defined framework, which ensures that officers, especially those on duty, are all treated expeditiously and without question,” Dr. Chang said.
“I have indicated to the Minister (Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton), that if there is need for the use of medical equipment, such as pins, plates and others, treatment should be allowed to move as quickly as possible. If we have to pay the bill, it must be sent to the Ministry (of National Security) until we sort out the medical insurance,” he added.
Dr. Chang said that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) place their lives in danger daily, and as such they should not be questioned or made to wait for long periods when they are injured on duty and visit the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Minister also assured police officers that the Government is committed to improving the environment in which they operate, as well as changing negative narratives about members of the force.
“We clearly have some courageous and competent officers that when given the facilities they will take the risks to defend the citizens of this country and provide a safe environment, but the narrative out there is that you (the officers) do not act when you see gunmen; you are afraid, that is what is out there,” Dr. Chang said.
“Part of the Government’s responsibility is to assist in changing that narrative and at the same time, do things to put the force in a stronger position to get its job done,” he added.
Contact: Serena Grant